tomás saraceno brings spider webs to the venice art biennale

tomás saraceno brings spider webs to the venice art biennale

in addition to his aero(s)cene installation at the gaggiandre of the arsenale, tomás saraceno — winner of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2019 for the category in the artistic realm — participates at the 58th international art exhibition of the 2019 venice biennale with a project that focuses on his other long-term research: spiders. the argentinian artist has created a poetic microcosm within a small, enclosed structure just outside the central pavilion at the giardini, where a large spider web woven on an open frame structure takes central stage.

images by francesco galli, courtesy of la biennale di venezia and studio tomás saraceno, unless stated otherwise



in spider/web pavilion 7, saraceno explores the role and importance of arachnids within the context of the current ecological crisis, named the sixth mass extinction, as these disappear at an an accelerated pace, with major consequences for the environment and ecosystems. characterizing their webs as nonhuman pavilions that transcend national representation, the artist explains how these synanthropic structures act as an invitation to attune to our sympoietic futures, the radical interconnectedness of all things, both living and nonliving.



opposing the mass commodification of nature and the self-destructive cultural and economic power structures of the present, which nourish negative representations of invertebrates, the project engages with different forms of knowledge and echoes spider divination methods practiced in different parts of the world. it celebrates their ability to forecast meteorological events, or extraordinary ones such as tsunamis, through the observation of other species’ behavior; and serves as a space of care and attention, to multiply perspectives and weave a participatory storytelling against extraction and extinction.image © designboom



spider/web pavilion 7 invites visitors in a dark room where a large spider web takes center stage, directly illuminated by the sun’s rays guided by a series of mirrors, while the floor shakes at very low frequencies, at the rhythm of vibrating spider/webs, inaudible and yet sensible for the voices we might need to hear. on the occasion of the biennale, saraceno has created the arachnomancy cards, a deck of 33 cards that act as an instrument of mediation, one of the many ways to consult spider/web oracles. through the arachnomancy app, developed together with the arachnophilia network, users can have an oracle reading based on one of the cards, while joining a collective exercise of mapping existing spider webs around them.

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image by studio tomás saraceno

image by studio tomás saraceno



project info:


name: spider/web pavilion 7

artist: tomás saraceno

exhibiton: la biennale di venezia – 58th international exhibition ‘may you live in interesting times’

duration: 11 may – 24 november 2019

location: spider/web pavilion 7 at giardini

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